Climate drives ecosystem processes and impacts biodiversity. Biodiversity patterns over large areas, such as Canada's boreal, can be monitored using indirect indicators derived from remotely sensed imagery. In this paper, we characterized the historical space–time relationships between climate and a suite of indirect indicators of biodiversity, known as the Dynamic Habitat Index (DHI) to identify where climate variability is co-occurring with changes in biodiversity indicators. We represented biodiversity using three indirect indicators generated from 1987 to 2007 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer images. By quantifying and clustering temporal variability in climate data, we defined eight homogeneous climate variability zones, where we then analyzed the DHI. Results identified unique areas of change in climate, such as the Hudson Plains, that explain significant variations in DHI. Past variability in temperatures and growing season index had a strong influence on observed vegetation productivity and seasonality changes throughout Canada's boreal. Variation in precipitation, for most of the area, was not associated with DHI changes. The methodology presented here enables assessment of spatial–temporal relationships between biodiversity and climate variability and characterizes distinctive zones of variation that may be used for prioritization and planning to ensure long-term biodiversity conservation in Canada.
- boreal forest
- Climate change
- spatial–temporal analysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
- Computer Science Applications